UK climate funding under scrutiny by aid watchdog for accuracy.

February 29, 2024
1 min read


Key Points:

  • The UK has counted an additional £1.7 billion towards its climate finance target without providing additional money for vulnerable countries
  • The Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) found that the UK government changed its accounting methods to meet its climate finance goal

In response to the Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) review, it was found that the UK government had changed the way it calculates its international climate aid, boosting its progress towards a 2026 goal without providing additional funds for vulnerable countries. The review accused the UK government of using accounting tricks to meet its climate finance goal after cutting its overall aid budget due to pandemic-related fiscal pressures.

The ICAI report highlighted concerns that the UK government had “moved the goalposts” by changing the way meeting the target is calculated and including all eligible aid towards vulnerable countries. This would make reaching the £11.6 billion goal challenging, with 55% of the amount still to be spent in the last two years of the commitment. Climate and development groups criticized the government for not providing additional support for those facing the impacts of climate change.

The ICAI recommended that the UK government develop a detailed plan on how to meet the remaining portion of the climate finance target, integrate gender considerations into all climate finance, and monitor climate finance for specific groups of countries. The review also noted a shift towards translating more of Britain’s climate aid into loans rather than grants, which may not be suitable for the most vulnerable countries.

Climate and development advocates called on the UK government to commit to new and additional climate funds in line with the urgency of the climate crisis, rather than using accounting methods to meet targets without increasing support for those most affected by climate change.

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